MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

This 25/6/2019 press release (distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The Faculty of Homeopathy) is today the topic of several UK newspaper articles. Here it is in its full beauty and without any change:

The Faculty of Homeopathy is delighted to announce His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy.

Dr Gary Smyth, President of the Faculty of Homeopathy comments, “As the Faculty celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, it is an enormous honour for us to receive the Patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and I am delighted to announce this news today. This news is also a fitting memorial to our late friend, colleague and former Faculty President, Dr Peter Fisher, who was a global champion of Homeopathy. I look forward to working with members, friends and supporters of the Faculty, continuing our important work, promoting Homeopathy within both public and professional circles and maintaining awareness of this system of medicine”.

About the Faculty of Homeopathy

Founded in 1844 and incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1950, the Faculty of Homeopathy is one of the longest established Homeopathic organisations in the world. The Faculty has long been recognised as the preeminent membership organisation for statutorily regulated healthcare professionals who integrate Homeopathy within their practice. The Faculty’s mission statement is “To promote and support the highest standards of practice, education and research in Homeopathy”.

The Faculty is an international and multidisciplinary organisation, embracing a wide range of healthcare professionals. The Faculty provides internationally recognised training pathways in Homeopathy for Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Veterinary Surgeons, Nurses and other statutorily regulated healthcare professionals. Faculty members are medical professionals who are qualified and trained in both conventional medicine and Homeopathic medicine. This provides them with a unique perspective on healthcare and allows them to effectively integrate these various disciplines.

In addition to Membership and Academic activities, the Faculty’s other key areas of work include Promotion, Quality Assurance, and Publication of the international research journal, Homeopathy.

About homeopathy

Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine used by over 200 million people worldwide for both acute and chronic conditions. It is based on the principle of treating “like with like”. That is, a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms.

For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation. According to this principle, when made into a Homeopathic medicine, this could be used to treat people with those symptoms. However, Homeopathic medicines use minimum doses of the active substance, which results in the medicines being non-toxic.

Homeopathy should be seen as a complementary treatment rather than an alternative to conventional medicine. Despite the differences in approach, Homeopathic and conventional treatments can work very well together and are frequently used as part of an integrative approach. Consulting a medical doctor who is trained in Homeopathy allows patients more treatment choices. www.facultyofhomeopathy.org

For more information or to arrange an interview with a member of the Faculty of Homeopathy please contact Chris Burton: cburton@britishhomeopathic.org or telephone : 07533 913589

________________________________________________________

I did take up the kind offer to arrange an interview to be published on this blog. Yesterday early afternoon, I thus emailed Chris Burton. Sadly, this did not (yet?) result in a response. If he still does come back, I will post an interview at a later date.

Therefore, I have to leave you with the comment I gave to THE TIMES yesterday; part of which is in today’s paper together with quotes from two other critics of homeopathy:

Prince Charles’ endorsement might turn out to be a poisoned chalice. His reputation in science is not exactly the best, and his patronage will simply re-emphasise the many negative verdicts of independent experts on homeopathy. The European Academies Science Advisory Council, for instance, stated recently this: “… we acknowledge that a placebo effect may appear in individual patients but we agree with previous extensive evaluations concluding that there are no known diseases for which there is robust, reproducible evidence that homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo effect.”

51 Responses to HRH Prince Charles announced as new patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy

  • Homeopathy is banned by the NHS from the NHS. Subsequently it is now re-endorsed by HRH the Prince of Wales, who was personally vilified in the press by science experts and publicly shamed for greedily and exploitatively selling his quack cure Duchy Detox Tincture at the equivalent of over £100 per pint measure to gullible and vulnerable in our society. His quackery was withdrawn. Now we see Prince Charles is at it again. This is what happens when cousins marry.

  • Just imagine what happens once Big Ears finds out that neither the water nor the sugar used in those magic potions and pills are organic!
    The horror!
    Wouldn’t that mean the esoteric quackery that he’s promoting is even less effective than the potently diluted wishful thinking homeopathy is based on?

    • With all due respect, but I think that referring to the man’s physical appearance rather detracts from the message – it’s not about his ears (something that he can’t be blamed for), but what lies in between those ears. And the latter is something that may be rightly criticized.

      Then again, royalty are only human too, complete with all faults and follies. Here in the Netherlands we had queen Juliana, who held paranormal beliefs and even gave rise to a serious constitutional crisis when it became public that she took important advice from a paranormal practitioner, who turned out to have been rather influential in matters of state (the Greet Hofmans scandal).
      Compared to this, merely supporting quackery is, however undesirable for such a public figure as HRH Prince Charles, relatively innocent.

      • No, it’s about his ears.

        Seriously, I can’t agree that his endorsement is “relatively innocent.” He is quite influential and should use that influence for good. Telling people homeo works is not good.

        Let’s please remember, Richard, that when people think homeo works (or that it’s not harmful, even if it doesn’t work), to quote Dr. Harriet Hall (SkepDoc):

        1. It can cause direct harm, especially to children. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that in 2012 there were 10,311 cases of poison exposure from homeopathic agents, with 8788 in children age 5 or younger, and with 897 requiring treatment in a health care facility. [https://aapcc.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/annual_reports/2012_NPDS_Annual_Report.pdf] And as mentioned above, the FDA issued a warning about homeopathic teething remedies causing belladonna poisoning in infants.

        2. It can cause indirect harm by delaying or replacing effective medical treatment. The What’s the Harm website [http://whatstheharm.net] lists many such cases. Isabella Denley was just 13 months old when she died after her parents substituted homeopathic remedies for the anti-convulsant medications prescribed by her neurologist. 16-year-old Kate Ross of Nevada had ulcerative colitis; surgery was recommended to remove her colon, but her mother chose homeopathic treatments instead. She went from 90 pounds to 50 pounds and nearly died when her colon perforated, but survived when child services intervened and her mother finally agreed to lifesaving surgery.

        3. Placebos are never a good idea. It is unethical for a doctor to knowingly prescribe a placebo to patients and lie to them, making them think it is an effective treatment; and if patients discover the deception, they will no longer be able to trust the doctor. Patients who self-treat with homeopathic remedies for benign, self-limiting conditions can be fooled into thinking homeopathy works and when they later develop a serious disease they are more likely to try homeopathy instead of medical treatments that have been proven effective.

        An excellent overview of the entire topic—from its roots to the different kinds of homeo to the criticism leveled against it—can be found here: http://bit.ly/Skepdoc_Homeopathy

        • Apologies if I was unclear. With ‘relatively innocent’ I meant innocent in comparison to a head of state actually acting on advice from a quack with self-proclaimed paranormal powers, not just in personal matters, but also in matters of state. And this for years on end.

          No, homeopathy is not innocent, and I know that very well – a close friend of my parents died because he trusted a homeopath/naturopath instead of real doctors. Unfortunately, this lady made several more victims (although in the end, she got sentenced to several months in prison, something that rarely ever happens to quacks).

  • If only HRH were less conscious of his high position and prepared to discuss things with lesser mortals, he just might explain why he accepts the scientific consensus on global warming but rejects the consensus on SCAM.

    • @ VOR

      I read the article. Homeopathy is said to be energy based medicine. Energy passed on from one molecule to another during succussion. That is what a Homeopath told me. Then this water memory is all BS 🙂

      • Homeopathy is said to be energy based medicine. Energy passed on from one molecule to another during succussion. That is what a Homeopath told me.

        From which we can reasonably conclude that the homeopath doesn’t know what energy is.

        Then this water memory is all BS

        The whole of homeopathy is BS. Including the BS about it being “energy based medicine”.

        • @ Mojo
          @ V. Arunachalam

          That Homeopath no longer practices homeopathy. Homeopathy does have some curative powers or else it would not have lasted 200 years. It is about Quantum Physics and electromagnetic energy. But whatever that energy is, it is not sufficient to cure chronic illnesses. And then this holistic approach : this medicine for this person and that medicine for that person based on the patients traits etc is all BS 🙂 All homeopathic medicines look alike and work in the same manner as the original molecule is not present with the number of dilutions that take place.

          • could you try to make some sense, please?

          • Homeopathy does have some curative powers or else it would not have lasted 200 years

            Ah, the appeal to ‘ancient wisdom’. I’m sorry, but you are wrong. There are lots of things that have lasted hundreds or even thousands of years that we only now find to be useless or sometimes even harmful. Tobacco smoking, bloodletting, and the use of mercury, lead and arsenic as ‘medicines’ are some prime examples. Homeopathy is ludicrous nonsense. Shaking water doesn’t turn it into a medicine, and diluting it even further most certainly doesn’t make it an even more potent medicine. And medicinal properties are not established by administering the aforementioned diluted water(!) to healthy persons.
            Yet these are the very tenets of belief of homeopathy.

            The only condition that homeopathy will reliably cure is hyperpecuniosis, by reducing the volume of the leathery structure usually found in close proximity to a patient’s body – called a ‘wallet’ in layman’s terms.

          • Religion has ‘lasted’ many thousands of years.

          • Flat-earthism, too!

      • In respect of HRH Prince Charles and his mother, should that be: ” Lack of insight is passed on from one monarch to another during succession”?

  • At the outset, I declare myself a layman in Homoeopathy. However, I ve been reading many books on Homoeopathy & tried some medicines on myself as per symptoms occurred to me. If a patient fails to report even one symptom to his homoepath, the diagnosis ll fail, I think. Homoeopathy’s success depends on the cooperation of the patient & the alertness of the Homoepath in extracting all the symptoms meticulously to arrive at the medicine for that particular disease. Thus, it is a complimentary system of medicine & not an alternative one. Such patronage from His Royal Highness to Homoeopathy encourages the Homoepaths to devote their full involvement to this system without getting demotivated to quack allegations from various quarters.

    • you seem to ignore the fact that, after 200 years of research and 500 clinical trials, there is no proof that homeopathy is effective for any condition. it is thus safe to categorise it as a disproven treatment.

      • Here is your science based modern medicine

        https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa013259

        Continue deluding yourselves of the greatness

        • yes, that conclusively proves that all science-based medicine is wrong, while all non-science-based voodoo is perfect. you have now stopped me from deluding myself, I have seen the light. thanks you

        • I’m not sure what your point is. You are quoting a negative trial of an existing treatment. Trials such as these lead to treatments being abandoned for indications where they are shown to be unhelpful, and so medical practice changes in line with new evidence. As I have said previously, if I am treating my patients the same way that I did last year then I am not keeping up with the literature. This can hardly be said of homeopathy, which has hardly changed in 200 years.

        • @RG

          Big woop. So what?

          Lots of trials return negative results. If they do, and are replicated, that particular treatment is abandoned. SBM learns from itself. It’s one of its cornerstones.

          Show us one time when AltMed, particularly homeopathy which this thread concerns, has done the same thing. Just one. You’ll be a long time looking.

        • I recall that the first NEGATIVE trial of homeopathy out of very many, was performed around 1840. I am on my way out with the dogs so I can’t find it now but perhaps someone has the link at hand?
          Some arthroscopic surgical procedures are being abandoned after a few recent negative trials.
          It would be interesting RG, to know how you explain that homeopathy is still being practiced despite centuries of negative trials??

          • [Deleted – I hadn’t noticed that the post I was replying to was from yesterday and the link had already been provided in the next post.]

        • The wife got on the phone so I got a little time to find the link while waiting for her:

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1676327/

        • The NEJM trial merely shows that science is working by scrutinising the evidence and drawing the right conclusions from it.

          • EE Lenny Bjorn and Dr. J

            C’mon gentlemen, the evidence is overwhelming that the procedure us no more useful than the placebo. Yet, the procedure in the study I referred to continues to be used today, in spite of the absence of efficiacy, and in many countries of the world.
            This recent evidence ( link dated 2017) shows that the procedure is still being widely used. In the graph, you will see that the surgery is being given with HIGHER frequency (in the four countries cited) in 2015 than in the year 2000.
            https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1982

            Please show me where the practice has recently been abondoned.

          • NO, YOU SHOW US WHERE IT’S STILL USED

          • no you did not!
            your ref is from 1982

          • RG does have a point. The NEJM paper was published in 2002 and it seems to have taken a heck of a long time for the message to get through — longer than H. pylori as a cause of peptic ulcer. But get through it most certainly has. From 2017: https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1982.

            Now, RG. The conclusion from your NEJM paper was that “…the outcomes after arthroscopic lavage or arthroscopic débridement were no better than those after a placebo procedure.” How often do we see a similar conclusion from (robust) trials of homeopathy and other SCAMs? Yep, constantly. How often do we see SCAMs withdrawn as a result, even after decades of repeated negative research results? Never.

            Please note that the paper I link to explicitly says “We make a strong recommendation against the use of arthroscopy in nearly all patients with degenerative knee disease, based on linked systematic reviews; further research is unlikely to alter this recommendation.” Just about every homeopathy paper with similar conclusions ends by saying “further research is needed”.

            So, RG, try to reason a little and get off your high horse that imagines your body can tell you all about medicine you need to know. Try to make a sincere comparison between the honest, ethical medicine you’ve uncovered and dishonest, unethical medicine based on improbable scientific foundations (at least arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee made some sense, till it was shown not to be of genuine benefit).

          • @RG:

            C’mon gentlemen, the evidence is overwhelming that the procedure us no more useful than the placebo. Yet, the procedure in the study I referred to continues to be used today, in spite of the absence of efficiacy, and in many countries of the world.

            Do you think it should continue to be used, RG?

          • Sorry, Edzard, the BMJ ref. is from 2017. The URL indeed has ‘j1982’ in its string, but that’s not the date of publication.

          • mea culpa

    • If a patient fails to report even one symptom to his homoepath, the diagnosis ll fail.

      Homeopaths often resort to blaming the patient for not getting better.

      I think. Homoeopathy’s success depends on the cooperation of the patient & the alertness of the Homoepath in extracting all the symptoms meticulously to arrive at the medicine for that particular disease. Thus, it is a complimentary system of medicine & not an alternative one.

      No, that’s not what “complementary”, or even “complimentary”, means.

      Homeopaths routinely claim that it is “a complete system of medicine”, meaning that it is alternative to, and not complementary to, actual medicine.

      If you want evidence for that, just stick the phrase “homeopathy is a complete system of medicine” into Google.

  • @ Edzard,

    I don’t know how homeopathic medicines work but I know that this memory of water is all BS. For 200 years these Homeopaths are cheating us saying that water has memory. Initially I believed but now I don’t.

    • For 200 years these Homeopaths are cheating us saying that water has memory.

      No, the water memory thing is a comparatively recent bit of flapdoodle. For 200 years they’ve been cheating you by saying that homeopathy works.

      • @ Mojo,

        You are right. The water memory thing is comparatively a recent one because when these Homeopaths were asked how does it work when the original molecule is not present in the medicine due to number of dilutions, they came out with such a ridiculous explanation.

  • “HRH Prince Charles FRS announces he is irrational, perverse and foolish.”
    But we knew that.

    The worst aspect is that he refuses to provide the evidence on which he bases his opinion that homeopathy has any value whatsoever.
    Why does he deny us the benefit of his insight and wisdom?

  • The Faculty of Homeopathy is in trouble. See https://ukhomeopathyregulation.blogspot.com/2019/03/faculty-of-homeopathy-developments.html

    Whether Royal patronage is suddenly going to inspire more doctors to study homeopathy is unknown but seems unlikely. It may attract some of the more credulous Indian homeopaths to join (now that they’ve been allowed to).

  • Frank

    I do not advocate any particular homeopathic remidies, only those that are successful in the view of the sick patient. Some remdies worked for me, and others didn’t. Neither does all Allopathic medicine have the same effect on all patients.
    I’ve tried many spoken of here with little benefit, Chiropractic and Accupunture among others. On the other hand, I have personally found much better success with Massage, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Paida Lagin.

    I am aware that patients have been injured by Chiropractic methods, I may be one of them. I take seriously the mantra “do no harm”.
    BTW, I do consider some very specific diets as remidies, also excercise, recreation and medidation.

    Mojo
    Do I think the knee surgeries sould be continued ? ….. no. I suppose there is some level of success, since both the surgery and palcebo show improvement. But personally I wouldn’t take on that level of risk/reward.

  • If you ask me (not that anyone will 😉 ), the monarchy is as outdated, dangerous to self-respect and the public purse and nonsensical as foolish nostrums (nostra?) like homeopathy. That these two useless institutions choose to bolster each other up shouid come as no surprise. The Dutch scandal seems cut from the same cloth – and haven’t there been soothsayers in the White House before this? Interested readers can look up in the works of George Orwell the connection between right-wing thinking and magic of all sorts.

  • In India we have the ‘Dhol’ which is a double sided barrel drum played for music. We also call it Dum Dum. Some people here speak about efficacy of homeopathy and also do homeopathy bashing. I call them Dum Dum. 😀

  • I am very sorry to announce that my request for an interview with Chris Burton has not been answered and I have given up hope that it will receive the politeness of a response.

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